Autumn Statement: How are the People of Scotland affected?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced the measures contained in the Autumn Statement on Wednesday 23rd November. Not all the measures apply to Scotland, due to the significant new powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament. This post looks at the main measures of the Autumn Statement and clarifies whether the people living in Scotland are affected.
The National Living Wage for all employees over 25 years old will increase to £7.50 per hour from April 2017. This applies to Scotland. If you believe you are currently being paid below the statutory minimum required by law, please visit one of our bureaux.
Letting agents fees to tenants have been abolished in England and Wales. In Scotland, they have been illegal since 1984, but a new law introduced by the Government in 2012 clarified this point. It is important that tenants who believe they have been charged fees (even in the past year) visit one of our bureaux!
The personal allowance will be increased to £11,500 (up from £11,000) from next April. This means that the amount of money you have to earn before paying income tax is £11,500. This applies to Scotland.
The decision to increase the threshold of the highest band of income tax to £50,000 by 2020 does not affect Scottish taxpayers, as Scotland will have powers to set its own band rates and thresholds from 2017-2018. The Scottish Government may decide to use the same bands as the rest of the UK but this decision will be announced at a later date.
The Universal Credit taper rate will be reduced from 65% to 63% from April. This means that if you are in receipt of Universal Credit, for every pound that you earn after your Work Allowance (if you are eligible for one), you will keep 37 pence, up from 35. This change applies to Scotland. If you are in receipt of Universal Credit and are unsure whether this affects you, please visit one of our bureaux.
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this blog, or would like to speak to an adviser, please make an appointment at your nearest Edinburgh Bureau. Click Here for a list of our locations.
Emanuele De Vito
Social Policy Volunteer